Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Self defense in the palm of your hand

Punches are among the fundamental tools of self- defense.  An adequate toolbox, however, includes various tools to solve different problems.  If you haven’t already, add the palm heel strike to your skill set.  

What is a palm heel strike?
The body mechanics of a palm heel strike are the same as a punch.  Fast recoil, body rotation, elbows in….all apply to palm strikes as they do punches.   The difference is in the striking surface you are using – the palm rather than the first two knuckles.

When/why do we use palm strikes?
  • You are striking a hard surface – e.g. the side or top of an attacker’s head
  • You cannot make a fist due to a sprained or broken finger(s)
  • A cut/laceration prevents you from making a fist.
  • Long nails (real of fake) can hinder “fist making”.
  • You simply prefer palm strikes to punches. 
  • You don’t have confidence in your hand strength or punching technique. 
For those of you who come from a boxing background (for example) palm strikes can feel awkward.  There are times, however, when the palm strike is the preferred or the necessary choice. 

Stay safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor and Owner
International Krav Maga Federation(IKMF), Toronto

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